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Thu Sep 19, 2019, 04:31 AM

Independent Party of Oregon faces a test of its mettle

The Independent Party of Oregon is preparing for a return to the minor leagues.

Four years ago, the party became the state's third major political party, having accrued the needed share of registered voters to qualify. But a massive wave of new voters registered under Oregon's recent automatic voter registration law has changed that.

The third-largest party in Oregon is expected to become a minor party again when Secretary of State Bev Clarno determines access to next year's primary ballot.

"We've been monitoring that and we're thinking it's very likely that they'll go back to being a minor party," Rich Vial, deputy secretary of state, said.

The difference between major and minor is more than nominal. In Oregon, party status changes who pays for primaries and how those nominating elections are conducted. For major parties, the state pays for the primary and voters get ballots to select nominees from their party, such as when two candidates run on the Republican ticket for state representative. Minor parties, by contrast, run their own primaries and have chosen various ways of doing so, ranging from conventions to elections where party members can vote for a candidate online. The nominees for various offices from those parties only appear on the general election ballot.

Read more: https://pamplinmedia.com/nbg/142-news/438646-351050-independent-party-of-oregon-faces-a-test-of-its-mettle

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